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While SUVs are more popular nowadays than sedans, there are some cars that still turn some heads. The Subaru Legacy is one of them and this year you can choose from several different trim levels. Which one is right for you?

U.S. News goes over the 2021 Legacy and explains what each trim brings. Which one is the most cost-effective trim to buy?

What about the Subaru Legacy base model?

White 2020 Subaru Legacy is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The 2020 Subaru Legacy | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The base trim comes with a pretty average amount of standard features. You’ll get cloth upholstery on the seats as well as a 7-inch touchscreen on a Starlink infotainment system. You’ll also get a nice array of audio features, like a four-speaker audio system, with both HD and satellite radio. Other features include Bluetooth, USB ports, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

There’s also a handful of driver’s assistance features that comes with it. Those would include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control.

Some really useful features you get with the base version are adaptive headlights, which adjust your light beams to illuminate more of the road depending on what you’re doing, and automatic high-beam headlights that will brighten the light beam and turn it off as you need it. 

What surprises many is how luxurious the interior seems despite it being just a base model. Subaru uses a mixture of soft-to-the-touch surfaces and high-quality materials to provide an upscale styling to this sedan. As far as price goes, the base starts at $22,895, which is about average for what you’re offered. While the base is affordable, it’s not as cost-effective as the Premium trim. 

Why is the Subaru Legacy Premium trim the most cost-effective?

The Subaru Legacy Premium model comes with everything the base version does. However, it adds a few more interesting features to it. The touchscreen in the base is replaced by an 11.6-inch display, plus it adds a six-speaker audio system as well as two rear USB ports. 

The Premium trim continues the cloth upholstery in the interior, however, it upgrades the front seats to include heat and the driver’s seat also gets 10-way adjustable programming. As far as heating/cooling goes, this version offers dual-zone climate control. 

You’ll also find that Subaru used leather to wrap the steering wheel and the shifter handle. You’ll get all this for the starting price of $25,145, which isn’t all that much more than what the base goes for. 

How do the Legacy Sport, Limited, Limited XT, and Touring XT compare?


The 2021 Subaru Legacy’s Handling Sends a Strong Message to Competitors

Moving up the lineup, the next trim is the Sport. Much of what the Premium has, the Sport also gets, but it adds a few new things as well. It offers 18-inch alloy wheels, two-tone upholstery, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. While they’re great features, the price seems too high for what’s really offered. You pay a starting price of $27,095.

The Limited trim adds leather upholstery, heated rear seats, 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system, reverse automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. The price for this package is $29,895. The Limited XT offers a four-cylinder turbocharged engine, heated steering wheel, and moon roof, for a price of $34,445. 

The top of the line trim level is the Touring XT, which has a starting price of $36,145. You get the same turbo-four engine as the Limited XT, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, as well as a front-view camera. 

Out of all the trims, the Subaru Legacy comes with, the Premium is the only one that’s actually cost-effective. The higher models are just too high-priced for the features you actually get with it.